WASHINGTON - The United States says that Pakistan will have to take action against all Taliban groups that are operating on its soil and territory.

Asserting that the US is continuing the process of having talks with Pakistan to address all terror outfits operating on their soil, US State Department’s deputy spokesperson Mark Toner added that Islamabad must take cognizance of the matter.

“They (Pakistan) need to address all groups operating on their soil – Taliban groups that are operating on their soil and their territory. We’ve urged them to do so in the past. We continue to urge them to do so and have worked with them on addressing the very real threat on their own soil,” Toner said at the daily press briefing on Thursday.

He also said that the United States will carry out strikes in Pakistan against terrorists if need arises.

“We have long said that in the national security interests of the United States, we reserve the right to carry out such strikes that killed Mullah Mansour and that criterion in some – well, to a large extent, does take into consideration the threat.” Toner asserted.

Asked if the US would give an opportunity to the new Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah to choose peace and to work towards negotiated solution Toner avoided to give a direct reply.

However he said the strike against Mansour was based on his previous actions and his intent to carry out additional strikes against Afghan forces, against U.S. military forces on the ground in Afghanistan and the fact that he was not playing a productive role or any role in leading us towards negotiations or a peace process – or talks, rather.

He repeated his earlier remarks that new Afghan leadership have an opportunity here to engage – re-engage on peace talks, and it’s their hope that they (Taliban) make that choice.

To a question that the Taliban would stiffen their opposition against engaging in talks in the face of droning their leaders, Toner said the US action against Mansour was predicated on the fact that we believed he was going to carry out lethal attacks on US servicemen and women in the field as well as against Afghan forces. He said that was the clear and pressing, imminent threat that we were addressing by removing him from the battlefield.

“We also hope that it sent a clear signal to the Taliban that really peace and reconciliation is their only option.”

He said when given the opportunity to remove a bad actor from the battlefield, we took it.

In reply to a question by an Indian journalist over Bombay attacks, Toner said we continue to urge the Pakistani Government to cooperate with the Indian authorities to fully investigate these attacks the deadly 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

“We continue to urge the Pakistani Government to cooperate with the Indian authorities to fully investigate these attacks. It was a terrible tragedy. We want to see justice done and we continue to urge Pakistani cooperation,” Toner said.